Will support Indian Kashmiris in 'freedom struggle': Imran Khan on Pakistan Independence Day

PM Imran Khan visited Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to mark the country's Independence Day as tensions boil with India.

Published: 14th August 2019 03:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th August 2019 07:29 PM   |  A+A-

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan (File Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

MUZAFFARABAD: Pakistani PM Imran Khan assured Kashmiri people living in the Indian-administered part of the region that he supports them in their struggle for self-determination.

In his statement on Wednesday, Khan condemned India's decision August 5 of abrogating Article 370, as he began celebrations marking Pakistan's independence day.

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Khan is marking the day in Pakistan's part of Kashmir to express solidarity with Kashmiris on the Indian-controlled side. He will make a speech in the Legislative Assembly to denounce Indian human rights violations in Kashmir.

India and Pakistan gained independence in 1947 when British colonialists left the subcontinent. The next year, they fought the first of two wars over control of Kashmir. It ended with the region divided between them though both claim it entirely.

ALSO READ| Article 370 fallout: Pakistan seeks emergency meeting of UN Security Council over Kashmir

India has maintained an unprecedented security lockdown to try to stave off a violent reaction to Kashmir's downgraded status. Protests and clashes have occurred daily, thought the curfew and communications blackout have meant the reaction is largely subdued.

Pakistan has called for an urgent meeting of the U.N. Security Council, saying the move by India's Hindu nationalist-led government threatens international peace and could lead to ethnic cleansing and genocide. Poland holds the council presidency this month and Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said members would discuss the letter.

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Pakistan's president, celebrating Pakistan's independence in Islamabad, condemned India's downgrading of Kashmir's status as a violation of international law and says Pakistan "will not leave Kashmiri people alone."

India celebrates its independence on Thursday and was finalizing preparations for the festivities in New Delhi and in Indian-administered Kashmir on the 10th day of a near-total security lockdown in the Himalayan region. The lockdown is expected to last at least through Thursday.

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